Cal State San Marcos locked down by false alarm

Margaret Lutz speaks at a press conference at California State University San Marcos speaking about the Aug. 20 lockdown on campus. / Brian O'Malley/ Telescope

Margaret Lutz speaks at a press conference at California State University San Marcos speaking about the Aug. 20 lockdown on campus. / Brian O’Malley/ Telescope

California State University San Marcos went on lockdown this morning when a faculty member mistook a colleague’s umbrella for a rifle case, according to officials.

The incident lasted approximately 40 minutes with police swept the campus starting in the parking structure where the suspect was first spotted, according to Public Information Officer Margaret Lutz. The suspect was found unarmed and quickly identified as an employee of the school. The employee was not arrested and the lockdown was lifted.

School is not in session but there were estimated to be 400 students on campus for freshmen and transfer student orientation.

This incident highlights the university’s multi-layered alert system, which has been in place for several years, Lutz said. The campus police is able to send out alerts to the students and staff with a click of a button via computer alerts, text messages, emails, campus sound systems, calls to classrooms and private numbers to alert campus of emergencies such as a gunmen or threat of fires.

Author: Susan Whaley

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